Last night we went to the Green Valley Ranch casino in Henderson to have dinner at the buffet.
Most 'locals' don't go down to the strip casinos very often, as they are usually quite crowded and expensive. When we do we usually go mid week, as there are fewer visitors around. Most visitors to Las Vegas come from Los Angeles and just drive up for the weekend. Statistics for last year show over a 98% hotel occupancy rate for the weekends. I haven't seen figures for mid week. With more hotel rooms here than anywhere else in the world that provides a lot of people.
We started going to the Green Valley Ranch buffet last fall. They ran a cheap deal during the month of November and December (the slowest months) of $6 for lunch - quite a deal with all of the food they have. It's a pretty good buffet, not as large as the MGM buffet, but then it's only $12.99 instead of the MGM's $21.99. The Ranch Feast has the desired crab legs, rack of lamb, prime rib, turkey, and bunches of other things.
This buffet follows the current new standards of having different specialty areas. It's called the Feast around the world and there are different sections for Mexican, Italian, Chinese, southwest, and American food, as well as desserts and salads. My son filled up on crab legs.
Going back several times to refill his plate.
with crab legs and mussels.
On the way out we stopped at the slots - hard not to do when they make you walk throught the whole casino floor to get to the food. But that's what most of the casinos do, as they are there to entice your money from your pocket into the machines.
There used to be prohibitions about taking photos on the casino floors, so I just held my camera low and did not use the flash just in case. We spent a grand total of $18.55 playing a variety of slot machines.
Most of the machines are video poker. There are none of the old mechanical slots around, everything is computer controlled. Most machies do not even have mechanical reels that spin, but a video monitor that shows pictures of spinnig wheels. The change to slots that I find most disturbing is the trend toward 'coinless' slots, that pay out in paper chits.
Funny enough, when you push the 'payout' button the sounds of coins falling into the metal tray comes from the stereo speakers all of the machines have, then your chit comes out of a slot. You can use it in another machine, or go over to an automated teller type machine and get cash.
The Green Valley Ranch food court also has a feature that is popular,
a painted blue sky with clouds. The big casinos on the strip, such as Paris, the Venetian and Caesar's all have large malls with painted sky. Caeser's cycles through an entire day every hour, moving from sunrise through daylight, sunset and night. The Aladin mall is all painted as if outdoors, there is even an area where it rains every half hour, with water falling from the sky accompanied by lightning and thunder.